URA Sensitizes Fishermen in Eastern Uganda

Uganda Revenue Authority has embarked on a four-day tax education excursion at various landing sites in Soroti, including Kagwara, Bugondo, Namutinda, Karamonjong, Akocho, Kibuka, and Apure.

The expedition is aimed at educating the fishing community on their tax obligations and also mobilizing revenue from those who are licensed and operating in the fishing waters.

The fishing communities on the landing sites are required to pay income tax for small businesses under the presumptive tax bracket, which is paid annually.

Moses Ojambo, the Ag. Supervisor, Soroti, however, stated that there is a challenge with fishermen who evade taxes by staying on the waters and only come to the shores once the URA officers have left. Ojambo says this is because after paying for the license to carry out fishing, they assume that they have also paid tax, which isn’t the case.

“The only way to curb this vice is to collaborate with the local authorities and the marines who issue licenses and man the waters. This way, we will ensure that whoever gets a license also pays taxes immediately since they are both paid annually, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries charging 100,000 UGX and URA collecting 80,000 UGX,” Said Ojambo.

URA continues to engage with the fishing communities in their various categories, including the boat owners who hire out the boats, the barriers who do the actual fishing, and the fishmongers who buy and sell the fish once it has been captured.

Stella Akemo, one of the educators, revealed that URA can only enforce tax obligations on licensed boats. Suffice to mention, this poses a revenue leakage whereby URA cannot enforce on those without licenses who are operating on the landing sites.

Ojambo reiterated that it is imperative that URA cooperates with the local authorities and the marines, who closely interact with the fishermen by the nature of their work, to close revenue leakages. Intense sensitization about the tax obligations of taxpayers is also needed in the Eastern region.

The Soroti Domestic Tax Office alone serves a large number of taxpayers from 10 districts, including Soroti, Serere, Kaberamaido, Amuria, Katakwi, Kumi, Bukedea, Ngora, Kalaki, and Kapelebyong.

By Elizabeth Nakiru

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